The Flaws of Prison Labor Essay

687 Words 3 Pages
The Flaws of Prison Labor

The debate over prison labor has existed as long as the concept it’s self. Opponents claim that it exploits prisoners, takes away jobs from the general population, and puts people in danger by allowing convicts access to their personal information. While supporters of prison labor argue that it helps the economy as well as benefits prisoners. On this issue I stand on the side of the supporters. By having prisoners work we are accomplishing several beneficial things. First, work keeps them occupied and out of trouble, instead of getting into confrontations with other inmates, they are actually doing something productive. Second, by working they are alleviating some of the high costs of keeping them
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It has been found that “when fully-trained…inmate workers leave prison, they carry with them credentials of achievement in job skills that meet requirements of today’s business.” In addition, the money that they earn carries several benefits; it can be used to buy daily amenities which will make their life in prison a little more pleasurable, they can also save money that will be extremely useful when they are released. Thus, not only are prisoners kept out of trouble by working, the money they earn benefits them in the present, as it will in the future and eases the burden on society that comes with housing prison inmates.
The ideal purpose of incarceration is to have the guilty pay for their crimes and at the same time correct their criminal behavior. However the reality is very far from the ideal, inmates literally rot in jail until they are released just to return soon after and keep the never ending cycle going. So one useful way inmates can pay their debt to society is by prison labor. When inmates are working a percentage of their wages is withheld and that money goes to house inmates and run prisons, thus relieving the economic burden of the government and taxpayers. Since these people committed the crimes, there is no reason why the entire society should support them. Having inmates contribute to the costs, especially when it benefits the prisoners as well is a great way to reduce spending…